Press release: Joint statement on principles for collaboration under the Forest, Agriculture and Commodity Trade (FACT) Dialogue -UK

 

Following the first ministerial meeting of the Forest, Agriculture and Commodity Trade (FACT) Dialogue, 24 countries have endorsed a statement committing to working together to protect the world’s precious forests while also promoting sustainable trade.

 

1) Agricultural commodities are important for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, notably promoting economic development, reducing poverty, food security, and improving the livelihoods of billions of people. At the same time, expanding areas for unsustainable agricultural production and other forms of land degradation may pose critical challenges to our environment, sustainability of forests and other important terrestrial ecosystems, increasing emissions, reducing resilience to climate impacts, and contributing to biodiversity loss.

 

2) Agriculture, Forestry, and other Land Use is a significant net source of GHG emissions. The loss and degradation of terrestrial ecosystems, such as forests, savannahs, natural grasslands, and wetlands, including tropical forests, temperate forests, and peatlands, are contributors to greenhouse gas emissions annually. At the same time, sustainable land management policies and technologies can contribute to adapting to climate change and mitigating greenhouse gas emissions. To meet the goals of the Paris Agreement and Sustainable Development Goals, all countries must work together to reduce these emissions and harness the opportunities for mitigation and adaptation, in accordance with the principles of equity and common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities, in light of different national circumstances.

 

3) This is a shared challenge. Governments of producer and consumer countries need to collaborate to ensure that global markets reward practices that promote sustainability and disincentivise damaging practices. Effectively addressing this issue will contribute towards sustainable forests management, responsible agricultural practices, better conservation and protection of forests and other important ecosystems, as well as promoting investment, innovation, development, and trade.

 

Principles for collaboration

4) We agree to work together, with mutual respect, determination and in good faith, to find solutions in accordance with the following principles:

  1. Partnership: partnership, based on mutual respect, good faith, cultural understanding, and cooperation, will be at the heart of our work.
  2. Synergy: This should be the basis of our efforts, we will work to align our efforts, including discussion on shared policies and standards, so that our collective impact is greater than the sum of its parts.
  3. Sovereignty: this should be respected and therefore each country has a right to establish its own policies and approaches to sustainable land use and commodity markets.
  4. Collaboration and assistance: We will support each other in meeting our shared goals, including through knowledge sharing, finance, capacity building, as well as technical and technological assistance, and support investment in sustainable production methods.
  5. Participation: The participation of all stakeholders with an inclusive approach should always be upheld, where possible, in the discussion, design, and development of our collective plans and actions. This will include the private sector, academia, smallholders, civil society organizations, local communities and indigenous peoples.
  6. Respect for international commitments. We must honour our international commitments and obligations, inter alia, the Sustainable Development Goals, the Paris Agreement under the UNFCCC, the Convention on Biological Diversity, and agreements under the World Trade Organisation.

 

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